Dec 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston (99) reacts during the game against the Denver Broncos at Coliseum. The Broncos won 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Mock Free Agency: NFC Edition

The countdown to the active parts of the NFL off-season has begun, starting with free agency.  Here’s a mock rundown of where the NFC teams will go.

Green Bay Packers – $27.2 million – Sign:  Aqib Talib

One thing to remember is the Green Bay Packers are not big free agency spenders except on their own players, so nobody should expect them to go on a huge spree.  However, if they do seek some outside help they might want to bolster their secondary.  Aqib Talib is the kind of cover corner they love and he might not be too expensive for them.

Minnesota Vikings – $23.9 million – Sign:  Lamarr Houston

The defensive front is about to undergo some changes for the Minnesota Vikings.  They have to make sure it doesn’t deplete too much.  Signing a player like Lamarr Houston would lend them so much flexibility since he has the strength and quickness to play defensive end but the size to move inside to defensive tackle.

Carolina Panthers – $20.9 million – Sign:  Hakeem Nicks

It became quite clear against San Francisco that the Carolina Panthers need more weapons for Cam Newton.  Already links are being established between them and Hakeem Nicks.  The Giants receiver had a rough 2013 season but he’s still young and would present a quality NFL target for Newton.

Philadelphia Eagles – $20.9 million – Sign:  Sam Shields

The defense should get primary attention during the off-season from top to bottom.  Adding help at corner is a great place to start.  Though overlooked at times, Sam Shields was a steady, reliable cover man for the Packers and fits perfectly in a 3-4 scheme.  The Eagles could plug him right in day one.

Washington Redskins – $14.7 million – Sign:  Zane Beadles

Another teams that needs to focus on defense, but the Washington Redskins can’t do that until they’re sure Robert Griffin III is protected.  Giving him help at guard would help greatly.  Zane Beadles was one of the underrated names who assisted Denver in boasting the greatest offense in league history.

Atlanta Falcons – $13.6 million – Sign:  Anthony Collins

Playing behind Andrew Whitworth made it easy to forget how good Anthony Collins is.  The veteran backup is capable of starting anywhere else and he proved that when the Bengals shuffled their line late in the season.  The Atlanta Falcons badly need blocking help and Collins could be a legitimate option given his size and athleticism.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $11.4 million – Sign:  Jared Allen

Lovie Smith knows his defense can’t function without a pass rush, and defensive end is a weak spot on his roster.  Jared Allen is expected to test the market and he is a perfect fit for the system.  His former coach Leslie Frazier is the Bucs defensive coordinator as well.  It seems like an ideal situation.

New York Giants – $9.2 million – Sign:  Jon Asamoah

Thing didn’t start really going wrong for the New York Giants until their offensive line started to fall apart.  Their interior blocking  is a mess and needs help.  If they do hit the 2014 NFL free agent market, then finding a guard would be their best choic.  Jon Asamoah doesn’t get much publicity but he was one of the keys in help Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles reach another Pro Bowl.

Chicago Bears – $7.3 million – Sign:  Clinton McDonald

Phil Emery has proven quite adept at finding under-the-radar free agents (see Matt Slauson).  While the Chicago Bears still have ways to create more cap space, the best thing for them to do is find defensive tackle help with what they have.  Clinton McDonald got little to no attention among the great Seattle defensive names, but he did post 5.5 sacks and was a regular force pass rushing up the middle.

San Francisco 49ers – $5.1 million – Sign:  Danario Alexander

Danario Alexander has a world of talent at his disposal, not to mention height at 6’5″.  It’s little wonder the San Diego Chargers have tried hard to keep him in the past.  However, that may change in 2014.  The San Francisco 49ers badly need a size upgrade at receiver, and Alexander would present a cheap option for them given his injury history.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings New York Giants NFL Philadelphia Eagles San Francisco 49ers Tampa Bay Buccaneers Washington Redskins

  • Pridenpoise

    I can’t see the Raiders letting Houston go they need him, unless of course he prices himself way out the market.

    • Erik Lambert

      Perhaps not but their unwillingness to act quickly on re-signing him as well as Veldheer is interesting. Of course until one or both are re-signed I must consider them possible free agents.

      • Pridenpoise

        What’s interesting about it, I don’t see a lot of action going on as far as teams signing free agents, the Super Bowl just ended and there is still plenty of time for them to sign both of these guys. If you want to waste your time thinking that Veldher is going anywhere that’s your prerogative.

        • Erik Lambert

          Anything is possible until something changes. As I recall the Raiders came ever so close to trading Howie Long at one point in time. Perhaps they sign Houston, cut Veldheer loose and draft Robinson or Matthews.

  • Mike Flannery

    Good call on McDonald to the Bears. Was a key part of Seahawks D-line and never gets mentioned for some reason. Still young enough (27) to have a few good years left. I think DT Vance Walker is a another under the radar DT the Bears might be looking at.

    • Erik Lambert

      I’ve listed both of them numerous times as classic types of targets Emery would find at a bargain, similar to what he did with Matt Slauson.

  • jojo

    So the Vikings give up a second rd pick for the DE after they sign Houston who is a DE? How about Alterraun Verner? His former defensive coordinator is now the Vikings debacks coach.

    • Erik Lambert

      Very possible. The reason I have them giving up that second round pick for Clowney is because the corner class is quite deep, producing potential starters in the third or fourth rounds. However Verner is a real target to consider.

  • 3kolu

    With all the cap room the Vikings have they will most assuredly try to resign Everson Griffen because of the upside and the versatility. He could play DE in a 4-3 or OLB in a 3-4 and they should be able to land him for numbers close to that of Brian Robison. While Lamarr Houston would be more of a 3-4 DE, even while playing in a 4-3 base in Oakland. If the Vikings go after Houston, who actually resembles Sharif Floyd in stature, that could mean a scheme change.

    • Erik Lambert

      All depends on what Zimmer has in mind.

      • 3kolu

        Yes, I agree. We’ll have an idea depending on the players they acquire in FA and the draft,

  • ahrcshaw

    I can not see the Carolina Panthers signing Hicks from the Giants for 20 Million but maybe Mr G has a better attitude toward him then I do because he was with the Giants up until last year.